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Eskom CEO: Power shortfall could increase as economy grows

Poor performance of various units continues despite maintenance.
André de Ruyter says there have been some improvements, but Eskom is not where it wants to be in terms of performance. Image: Moneyweb

Over the next five years Eskom is expected to have an electricity supply shortage of 4 000 megawatts (MW). However the shortfall could increase as the economy grows, according to the power utility’s chief executive André de Ruyter.

The power utility, which is currently implementing Stage 2 load shedding, has warned of continued uncertainty over its electricity generation capacity at any time. 

“This is why we believe that it is important to accelerate the addition of new generation capacity onto the grid [in order to avoid further constraining the economy],” De Ruyter said during a media briefing on Monday. 

New capacity procured from independent power producers (IPPs), including bid window five which aims to provide Eskom with 2 600MW of wind and solar power, is likely to only start adding power to the grid within the next two years. This means continued electricity blackouts are likely to persist until the power utility’s generation capacity is supplemented. 

Eskom’s woes have been exacerbated by its continued need to conduct maintenance on its ageing fleet of power stations.

“While there is an improvement on some aspects of the generation plant due to concerted efforts by Eskom employees, we are not where we want to be in terms of performance,” De Ruyter said. “The ultimate aim is to improve performance to reduce the risk of load shedding.”

Listen: Eskom’s acting group executive for generation Phillip Dukashe, on its hopes to limit load shedding this winter

Last year, the power utility implemented 859 hours (42 days) of planned outages due to its vulnerable and volatile systems. Load shedding was initially suspended before the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, but was reintroduced during the winter months despite reduced economic activity and demand.

Eskom is implementing a maintenance programme to improve generation performance, but significant improvements are only expected by September 2021.

Since January this year, Eskom has implemented 19 days of load shedding, dominated by Stage 2 type load shedding.

In the worst case scenario for the winter months (April to August), Eskom says it will have to implement 26 days of load shedding should it lose 2 000MW of power due to its aged systems.

This would require the company to burn R2.7 billion worth of diesel to keep the lights on while its systems undergo maintenance. 

In the best case scenario between the winter months, Eskom will be required to implement zero days of load shedding but this is unlikely because the company is still required to implement its reliability maintenance programme. 

Eskom capacity outlook, March 2021 to March 2022

Source: Eskom

“Recovering the operational performance is our top priority and we will not compromise on reliability maintenance and mid-life refurbishment,” said Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer.

Read:
Eskom: Further steep tariff hikes needed to reach cost-reflectivity
Eskom unbundling expected to be completed by December 2022 

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Eskom is the ultimate example of the collective ANC incompetence in running this country.
Everyone that voted for them are complicit in the downfall.

And those who did not vote for them have to pay.

Those who did vote for them must be made to pay. There are ways…

To stuff Eskom up like this … one needs to think about the size of this organisation … then one needs to think about the size of the incompetence put in place in this organisation…. while all this was happening …the place was being looted by selected people on the top.

Look at Brian Molefe… he feels he can just give regiments a bonus based on figures in his head.

And still Gwede has not changed the regulations to even 10MW rooftop solar.

A huge number of shopping malls have solar now and many of them could add another MW.

Useless politicians

“Power shortfall could increase as economy grows” is something everybody with a minute understanding of how a free country’s economy operates + grade 4 maths can work out – question is what is done to permanently fix it – Currently eskom is the cow with a non-producing udder and 4 teats but with far too many calves – including neighbors calves.

“Refurbishment” is a term currently lightly used creating the impression, the refurbished item is going to be as good as new, just to discover later on it was a temporary repair.

My experience with the maintenance of electrical equipment is that a good maintenance program can improve the reliability and availability of equipment quite significantly. In some cases neglected equipment can still be refurbished and if maintained properly from there on, can still perform well. However, there is a point of neglect that is very difficult, in some cases even impossible, to turn around. The way some Eskom equipmemt are performing gives me the impression that it has reached that point. They should identify those items and stop wasting money on it.

Truth be told the problem could be solved within 12 months and with no additionally price hikes.

Open the market, that means:
1) Eskom to be the distributor to Municipalities and Major Users
2) Sell all of Eskoms’s Assets
3) Sale price to Eskom and from Eskom to its customers to be regulated
4) No Red Tape: No Expropriation Clause, No BEE
5) 1% Special Debt Levy to be paid by all transaction, this will pay off all Eksom’s Debt.

Currently South Africa pay about the same price for electricity as the USA but we are a 3rd world country…

Its horrible to think that every year South Africans become more poor than the previous years, even if you tried to grow you are constrained by the ANC…

Pack up and leave, this is the only way for citizens to fend for themselves without sponsoring genocidal corruption.

I hope Pravin reads this? Can Eskom not please, please be privatised? It is long overdue and the only viable option left.

Eskom is not to big to fail. In fact, it has already failed.

PRavins head is currently focused on a dead bird called SAA…. or maybe it between his legs.

These IPPs and the new bid window need to be kicked into high gear. There will be no economic growth if it is spragged every time by lack of power.

I don’t see the economy growing…Stagnant or retracing is my take.
Therefore stage 2 for a while & a little stage 3 or 4 during winter…
Rinse & repeat…

June and July look like great time to go camping in Botswana

Can just imagine what De Ruyter has to go through in order to get the hordes of Eskom employees to do a decent day’s work. Eskom will not be in a position to provide SA with its power needs for many years yet the ANC delays the use of alternative sources. Probably due to the thought of losing a cash cow they can milk. Will be harder to score big kickback deals with IPP’s

End of comments.

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